Articles Archive for November 2011
Englewood could have single family homes on James Street
ENGLEWOOD — Vacant lots and large multi-unit dilapidated homes on James Street could be replaced with new single-family houses.
At a special City Council meeting Tuesday night, representatives from GLF Realty are expected to present plans for some of the more than one dozen properties they own on James Street.
“This meeting is based on something that is actually pretty exciting, all single-family homes,” Mayor Frank Huttle said.
GLF Realty is affiliated with the ShopRite supermarket, which hopes to expand its store and parking lot into the properties it owns on the residential road. The company did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.
GLF sought Planning Board approval last year to rezone James Street, which consists of mostly single-family homes, to allow multi-family buildings. The company also wanted a 60-foot adjustment to the zone line, allowing the ShopRite and parking lot to expand into the rear of the residential lots. The plans called for a 22,000-square-foot store expansion and 48 additional parking spaces.
The Planning Board sent the issue back to the City Council last year. When Huttle took on the dual role of serving as council president this year, he listed the item for discussion.
In July, City Engineer Ken Albert presented conceptual plans that would replace the 23 units on 11 properties on the east side of James Street between Palisade Avenue and Tallman Place with no more than a dozen units.
The large homes split into multiple units on the street would have been turned into duplexes. Albert also suggested trimming the 140-foot-deep residential lots to 80 feet to allow for the ShopRite expansion.
Residents in the area took issue with the plans, saying they wanted single-family homes and were also concerned about the future of the properties GLF Realty owns on the west side of James Street.
Huttle has since held a meeting with several residents in that area and has asked GLF to come to Tuesday’s meeting.
“The owners are presenting to build only single-family homes on both sides of the street,” he said. “One of the major concerns of residents is that they don’t want multiple housing units on the west side.”
The council also is set to vote on a lease agreement with the Englewood Board of Education for use of the Russell C. Major Liberty School. The school board approved the contract in the early hours of Friday morning, following a lengthy meeting Thursday night.
The city purchased the Liberty and Lincoln schools from the district in 2003 for $11.5 million. When the district vacated the Lincoln School in 2008, it paid for that portion of the purchase, but has held the money for the Liberty School, which is still occupied by the district.
I. Update from Council Meeting held on November 15th.
At the Council Meeting last week, the City decided to have Englewood Hospital and Medical Center join forces with the Englewood Volunteer Ambulance Corps (“EVAC”) to delivery emergency medical services to all residents of Englewood. This was one of my initiatives upon taking office as Mayor and it is a win-win for all of us to have these excellent Englewood institutions working as one to deliver the highest quality of emergency care and services. This new joint healthcare delivery system will lower cost and maintain the high quality of emergency services. For more information click here for the news article on emergency services as reported in the Bergen Record.
II. Complaint filed with the Board of Public Utilities against PSEG.
On November 13th, I filed a formal complaint with the Board of Public Utilities against PSE&G for the utility company to drastically improve its protocols and communication efforts with the City’s Office of Emergency Management during the critical emergency period after a power outage and to improve its time period to timely mobilize repair crews and restore electricity. Currently, PSE&G does not provide any communications during these critical periods which has resulted in a public safety hazard. The last storm in October left over 7,500 residents without power and our Police, Fire and Public Works departments were without electricity for four days. This was the third time our residents were faced with power outages for almost a week in less than two years. It is unconscionable that in this day and age, residents, first responders and schools are without power for a week after the storm and worst yet are unable to obtain any information from PSEG to timely deal with emergency situations. Please click here for the Complaint. If PSEG does not want to do better on its own, the Board of Public Utilities must step in to provide better oversight of the state’s largest utility.
III. Council Workshops.
As Council President, I changed the way council workshops where handled by prior council leadership. I instituted a new policy of holding council workshops at least one week prior to voting sessions of the council to promote an open door policy to our residents. In the past, council workshops were held on the same night of voting sessions leaving sometimes less than minutes before the council would take official action and left little time for our residents to be informed about the important matters of the City. Now, the public has the time and information prior to voting sessions for the public to be fully informed and to effectively participates at council meetings. For more information about participating and being informed click here and go to www.englewoodone.com.
IV. Council Workshop Agenda for November 22nd.
A. 2012 Budget Discussion
On Tuesday, the City Manager and I will present to the Council the 2012 Budget Process to be implemented in the adoption of the 2012 Budget. For more information on the State of the City’s Financial Condition, click here for the full report on the Mayor’s Commission on Budget and Finance.
B. ShopRite and James Street Discussion
The ShopRite owners will discuss their revised proposed plan for the expansion of the ShopRite store to better service our community and to continue to serve as an economic anchor to the downtown. They will also present a proposed residential plan for James Street for consideration by the Council and the community. James Street runs from Palisades Ave. at the corner near the Group USA stores and the Rite Aid Pharmacy to Demarest Street where St. Celica is located.
Last year, the prior Council leadership and several council members approved an ordinance to build high density housing of approximately 120 rental apartments on this one way street which is zoned for mostly single family homes. I was against this type of high density housing that required a change in zoning by the City Council and still remain against it. Over my objection at the time, the Council submitted the ordinance to the Planning Board for consideration and review. The Planning Board, on which I am a member, rejected the Ordinance as the development plan was ill prepared and failed to address the needs of the community and recognize the fiber and character of this neighborhood.
Over the course of this year, I scheduled public meetings and held several meetings with the residents, professionals and City staff to discuss how best to improve the neighborhood. The days when developers tell the City what is good and what we should accept are long gone! It is a new day and it is the City‘s job to determine what is best for planning for today and for the future of our City.
I am pleased that the large residential development is out the door not to be seen or heard from ever again. Those who participated in all the public meetings in 2010 and 2011 witnessed the evolution from the ill fated massive James Street residential redevelopment to the soon to be presented proposed small single family home project on both sides of the street.
At the Tuesday meeting, the ShopRite owners will, in keeping with the needs and requests of our community, present a plan to develop a maximum of 6 or 8 single family homes from Palisades Avenue to Tallman Place on the East Side of James Street and to develop 3 single family homes on the West Side of James Street on the property it currently owns and zoned for single family homes. All lots will be proposed to conform to the existing zoning requirements of a minimum lot area of 6,500 feet. There will be no requests for zoning changes on the east or west side of James Street to permit multi residential housing, and more importantly, the proposed development of 3 single family homes on the West side of the street will enhance the character and integrity of this neighborhood on both sides of the street as single family residences all privately owned.
By talking to so many residents on the future of James Street I have heard their views and I urge all to attend this council workshop meeting, speak up and participate in this open discussion. This workshop meeting is for discussion purposes and public participation only. No official action will be taken Tuesday night. Additional meetings will be scheduled.
Join us, be informed and participate.
The agenda for the next City Council Workshop Meeting is now available. Click here to download a pdf of the agenda.
The agenda for the next City Council Meeting is now available. Click here to download a pdf of the agenda.
11/2/2011 – Update from Mayor Frank Huttle III on Progress by PSE&G
I just received an update from PSE&G and am writing again to pass along the information.
By way of background to understand the extent of the damage, circuits from the following substations were damaged affecting outages in the City: Bergenfield, Dumont, Englewood, Leonia, Hillsdale, Hudson Terrace, New Milford, Paramus, Ridgefield, Teaneck and Waldwick. There was extensive tree damage to primary feeds and individual services. Wires are down throughout our City and surrounding areas due to the downed trees. Crews were dispatched as of late Sunday. Initial efforts focused on reevaluating the extent of the damage and repairs to restore the maximum number of residents.
To date, 3,700 Englewood PSE&G customers remain without service. At the height of the storm over 7,500 were without power in the City. Restoration activity has increased due to PSE&G crews now being supplemented by crews arriving from Alabama, Georgia and other states. PSE&G expects the majority of customers to be restored by midnight on Thursday.
I will continue to keep you updated as I receive more information.
Mayor Frank Huttle III
11/2/2011 – Message from Mayor Frank Huttle III; November 2, 5:30PM
As of 10:30 AM PS&G reported that less than 900 customers remain out of service in Englewood and as of 12:30 PM their customer count shows Englewood 675 customers still remain out of service. Crews continue to work to restore service with additional crews from Florida and Mississippi that arrived today to assist in the restoration efforts.
The City’s Department of Public Works continues to work on trees and picking up branches. Branches will continue to be picked up curbside through Thursday of next week. No appointment is necessary.
I will keep you advised of any updates that I receive from PSE&G.
Mayor Frank Huttle III
11/1/2011 – Update from Mayor Frank Huttle III
I had a meeting this morning with executives from PSE&G regarding their response in Englewood to the weekend’s storm.
The Police Department, Fire Department, and DPW have been working diligently since Saturday night to clear roads of debris, remove fallen tree branches, keep traffic moving safely and assist Englewood residents.
I informed PSE&G that Englewood will assist them as they mobilize crews from multiple states to work to clear wires from trees. The Police Station, Firehouse and Town Center all have had power restored since Monday night and crews are working in all four wards to restore residential power.
When I contacted the President of PSE&G I was advised that their goal is to have all power restored by Thursday. I understand that this is a long time for residents who have not had power since Saturday or Sunday.
I have asked the PSE&G executives to work with the City, after this crisis passes, to re-establish the total system of protocols for emergency situations in the future. A mobilization time of 48-72 hours is too long and we hope to be able to work with PSE&G to reduce this in the future.
Please note that the City cannot work in trees that have downed wires in them until PSE&G cuts out the wires.
Englewood DPW will be working on trees and picking up branches all week. No appointment is required for branch pick-ups.
I will keep you advised of any updates that I receive from PSE&G.
Mayor Frank Huttle III
10/31/2011 – Message from Mayor Huttle
This weekend’s storm was very damaging to property in the City of Englewood.
Over 7,500 homes lost power and hundreds of trees were damaged due to the weight of the snow and the winds. The most important thing that all residents should do is be concerned about safety, stop at all intersections where the traffic lights are out and do not move barricades or caution tape that has been put-up near down wires or trees.
I have written to PSE&G and have given them lists of all trees that are down or damaged and are involved in wires. I have asked PSE&G to give me an update as to when they expect to get power returned to the residents of Englewood.
The City of Englewood is actively working to recover from this past weekend’s storm. Due to the extensive damage, however, it may take several days until all roadways are completely reopened, and free of debris. There are still multiple wires and trees down throughout the City. If you encounter any down wires, immediately leave the area. Do not attempt, under any circumstances, to move any down or low hanging wires. Please remind all children and adults who may be going door to door tonight for trick or treating to stay away from all wires and damaged trees.
It is strongly recommended that those with young children, the elderly, and those with special needs, who are without power and/or heat, seek shelter at a location that has adequate temperature control and protection from the weather.
The City of Englewood Library, located at 31 Engle Street, meets these criteria, and will be open to all Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until 9:00 PM.
A regional shelter has been established at the FDU Rothman Center, 100 University Plaza Drive, Hackensack. The regional shelter is open and available with food, beverage, and cots. People can stay overnight, if they do, should plan to bring the following items with them:
• Clothing and whatever else they need to be comfortable
Please remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. To report non emergencies, the City of Englewood Police Department can be reached at (201) 568-2700.
Further updates will provided by the City of Englewood, as needed, in the upcoming days.
Mayor Frank Huttle III